If you’re thinking about becoming a project manager, you probably want to know what skills you’ll need to thrive. We walk you through five essential project management skills.
A large part of being a project manager is coordinating the work of others. This involves communicating ideas clearly, so that staff can easily understand their role in the project.
Communicating well isn’t only about making demands. It’s also about being able to form good relationships, as well as keeping up morale. If you get on well with those around you, and make them feel appreciated, they are likely to want to do a better job.
As a project manager, you will have to work out the best way of achieving goals, and of solving problems that arise on the way.
To do this effectively, you need to be able to analyse situations and factors to decide on the best course of action. The ability to methodically tackle obstacles and utilise opportunities is one of the most important project management skills.
Project managers face obstacles every day, from under-performing staff to faulty IT systems. To get things back on track quickly, you must be able to recognise the significance of an issue, while staying calm at the same time.
Reacting angrily can reflect badly on you to colleagues, and becoming stressed quickly will make you less effective in your role. Instead, you should be able to concentrate fully on the problem at hand, while maintaining a positive attitude.
Decision-making will be a large part of your role as a project manager, so decisiveness is an essential project management skill. While it’s important to weigh up all the options when faced with a difficult choice, dithering will slow down the project, and undermine your team’s faith in your leadership abilities.
Having a clear vision of the direction you want your project to take will help you make the right decisions efficiently, so you need to be someone with clear conviction, as well as high confidence in your own abilities.
You might be sharp as a knife, and smooth as silk when it comes to schmoozing, but a project can fall to pieces without brilliant organisation.
To keep everything running smoothly, you need a constant awareness of the progress of each strand of a project. This means that you can coordinate your team’s efforts, and respond as soon as problems arise.